change

If you know me at all, you know that I believe telling alternative stories will change the world faster than violence or politics.

It is in this spirit that I suggest the person who gives the speech in the video below would serve the world better from a grassroots level, than a political one.

This coincides with a comment by my friend Mark on Emergingleadersnetwork.org that has been making me think:

It strikes me that “alternative” was once synonymous for “non-commercial” in the same way “Christian” was synonymous with “contra-empire” in the first couple centuries. Both were co-opted – alas, alt barely had a chance to exist before getting sucked into the market. Theres a downside and an upside to this, the downside being obvious (a total 180 on the mission), but the upside being wider distribution of the “alt” or “Christian” message.

I seem to recall Augustine wrestling with this in “City of God,” expressing some guilt for Christianity’s alignment with Constantinople/Rome but also some hope for its propagation beyond the limited sphere it occupied at that time.

I do believe that we can change society for the better. I do not believe these changes can or will come from a government, rather from people with broken hearts.

  • This is an interesting concept Thomas, but I have to tell you I completely disagree. Every movement should start at a grassroots level but if that movement is good enough it will eventually progress to become a piece of the mainstream. The hardest part of the grassroots organizers is to understand that once the movement is taken up by the mainstream it may change and evolve. The grassroots movers continue to exist and work to ensure that the movement stays true to its origins. As changes are requested from the broken hearted grassroots movers, eventually the mainstream will hear these cries for justice and react.

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  • Jason, I actually agree with most everything you are saying. I am also aware of how much more Bill Clinton has been able to accomplish out of the White House. What about Martin Luther King Jr.? Would he have made a good president? Or would his passions and leadership been diluted by the office?

    I’m not saying that grassroots movements don’t go mainstream. It necessary that they do. (I see Cub Foods now has organic produce.) I’m saying they lose their momentum and potency when their mavens and change-agents move into positions of policy.

  • kim

    I don’t know…Martin Luther King Jr may have done amazing things as president. Bill Clinton did great things but is now doing things that he wasn’t DOING before being an elected official in office. Maybe had he been doing what he is doing now he may have been more influential in these ways.

    I think that it is extremely important to have someone like Obama in the white house to be words for those who are not able to speak….kind of biblical eh?

  • Eric

    I do believe that we can change society for the better. I do not believe these changes can or will come from a government, rather from people with broken hearts.

    I don’t understand what government is if it is not “people.” Government is how we, in a civilized society, organize ourselves so that we can act together on common issues. You have sewers because of government, streets because of government, courts because of government, fire fighters because of government. What would modern life be without government.

    You can choose to ignore it or distain it. That is your choice. But part of what Obama is doing is waking up many people to the fact that those are not your only choices. You can also choose to engage it, take part in it, use it to build the world we all want future generations to live in.

    Yes, our hearts are broken. But institutions are nothing more than broken hearted folk working together to love one another. Or they can be this if we are willing to be a part of them ourselves.

    Wake up!